One of Microsoft's chief deal architects is leaving the software giant to start his own firm.
Bruce Jaffe - currently vice president of corporate development for Microsoft - plans to vacate his post at the end of February.
The move comes at a time when Microsoft seems more willing to spend money on big-ticket acquisitions in order to help keep pace with rival Google. Just yesterday, for example, the Redmond, Wash.-based company offered $1.2 billion for Norwegian search company Fast Search and Transfer.
Jaffe, who joined Microsoft in 1995 and did a stint as chief financial officer of its MSN unit, has been smack in the middle of Microsoft's face-offs with Google over the last few years, winning some deals and losing others.